John Penrose, MP for the seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare and former Tourism Minister, is calling for changes to Package Travel rules to release British tourism destinations from red tape in order to market themselves more effectively.
In a letter to Jo Swinson, the Minister responsible for Britain's approach to the European Directive, Mr Penrose has asked her to simplify the rules.
He said: "these EU rules are a massive handbrake on British tourism destinations marketing themselves properly. And they add costs to a British weekend away which, with money so tight at the moment, isn't great either. Getting an exemption would be a huge help, and would liberate British resorts from Whitby to Weston-super-Mare, which is why I've asked the Minister to look at the idea closely."
Mr. Penrose's proposals have been welcomed by tourism organisations including ABTA and the Tourism Alliance and he has offered to lead a delegation of industry representatives to meet the Minister to discuss them.
The European Commission is currently studying changes to the Package Travel Directive and is due to publish proposals in the Spring.
Current rules require the travel agent to hold an expensive bond, and local tourism attractions are legally barred from marketing themselves jointly without one as well.
A package is defined as being created when a combination of two or more elements (transport and/or accommodation and/or other tourist services) are sold together at an inclusive price.
By Lisa Jenkins
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